By Carol McIntire
Sherrodsville Council members discussed the status of the village’s emergency services during the November meeting.
Council Woman Lila Booth initiated the conversation when she asked why the fire department first responders (Emergency Medical Responders) are not answering calls.
“I know they have been toned by dispatch centers but are not responding. Why are they not responding? Aren’t they up and running?”
“That’s a good question but I don’t have an answer,” responded Mayor Ken Moffat. “The EMRs are up and running and the ambulance service is not running.”
“Why are the EMTs who are members of the fire department not running the ambulance squad?” she asked.
“We need to get an answer,” said Council Woman Michelle Higgenbotham, suggesting council schedule a safety committee meeting in the near future.
Council granted approval to set up the EMR program within the village department in April 2016. At that time, Jeff Shriener, a captain on the fire department, laid out the guidelines, noting EMRs would respond to calls when an ambulance was toned. He said EMRs would stabilize the patient and provide treatment until the ambulance arrived at the scene.
Kevin Vandegrift was hired as squad coordinator in May and attempted to recruit former EMTS to run with the squad as well as new personnel.
At that time, Vandegrift asked qualified personnel in the area, “Please help us make a crew so we can get help to those who need it.”
His goal was to have the squad operating by the end of July.
Booth said at the November meeting, the squad has not been responding to any calls.
Members of the safety committee agreed to meet to discuss the status of the services.
Fiscal Officer Roxanne Mazur noted Workers Compensation is changing the way villages are billed and cost is based on the previous year’s employment. She is attempting to have that changed since the village is not paying for emergency ambulance personnel, to reduce the cost.
In an unrelated matter, council agreed to ask Danny Buckey to submit a contract to the village for snow removal services. Moffat said Buckey told him he would have one truck available to plow in the village, but he would not be the operator. The charge would be the same as last year.
It was noted Buckey is working under the 2016 contract through Dec. 31, so in the event of a snow or ice storm, the village would be covered.
Council allocated $500 for the purchase of road salt.
In other business, council:
-DISCUSSED replacing eyes on Christmas light fixtures, replacing broken bulbs and hanging the lights on poles. Bud Newell agreed to contact the owner of bucket truck to install the lights.
-EXPRESSED appreciation to village voters for passing the village’s 1.9 mill levy renewal request on the Nov. 8 election ballot.
-SCHEDULED a finance committee meeting prior to the Dec. 19 council meeting to determine if funds are available to repair a leaky roof on the fire station.
-LEARNED Mazur and Valerie Gardner continue to work on the list of village residents in order to complete a survey to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
– HEARD second reading of an ordinance to hire Atty. James J. Ong as village solicitor for 2017 at a cost of $3,000.
-SCHEDULED the next meeting Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.